WATCH: Lawyers Danstan Omari, Cliff Ombeta defend Eric Omondi’s hunger ‘protests’ at the High Court
Renowned city lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari are set to represent comedian Eric Omondi at the High Court following his arrest and detainment last week.
Eric Omondi twice led groups to protest against the high cost of living in Kenya and was were arrested on both occasions, detained and presented in court where they were fined and released.
However, Mr Omondi retained the services of the outspoken lawyers and they are set to appear in the High Court to protest the actions metted out on Eric Omondi whereby he was arrested, detained, his mobile phone taken away, the police refusing to prefer charges against him but telling him to later walk away.
“Eric Omondi, just because he is raising the concerns of citizens, we will defend his rights in court and we will not succumb to any form of intimidation. So we are moving to the High Court to redress actions meted out on Eric Omondi,” said Danstan Omari.
Mr Omari clarified that they were moving to the High Court to challenge the arbitrary arrest of their client on March 1, and had been rendered incommunicado and not charged.
“For this lower matter, we want those officers to say they broke the law on May 19 so that Eric and the whole country because Eric represents the voice of almost 55 million people. Le the accusers tell their representative, Eric, what mistake or which offense Eric and team committed,” added Mr Omari.
On his part, Cliff Ombeta added to the conversation saying Eric and his team had a right to speak out against or for the high cost of living in Kenya. Despite being given bond, Mr Ombeta wondered why the police began following Eric Omondi around and arrested him again.
“Is it because they do not know the law, have they forgotten it or is this that impunity we always talk about?” asked Mr Ombeta.
He also expressed frustration at Eric’s latest detention without being allowed to communicate and being held overnight without any charges.
“What message are they sending across? This is why we need new laws whereby any officer who acts contrary to the law cannot always hide behind the police force and say that the AG, the DPP and everybody else shall protect him. We must be individually responsible for any act that is of that nature,” said Mr Ombeta.
Eric Omondi was recently arrested at the City Stadium where he intended to distribute packets of maize meal flour to Kenyans in protest of the high cost of living. Earlier, he had led a demo outside the gates of the National Assembly where he had demanded audience with the Speaker, Moses Wetangula, to address their grievances.
Mr Ombeta noted that everyone was angry by the drought situation in Kenya and were calling for the lowering of the prices of commodities but that did not give the authorities to silence citizens who are allowed by law to congregate and express themselves.
“If you want to silence your citizens not to complain about his hunger and food and everything, then where does it stop? Without being political in any way, the law is the law, let us follow it. The policemen must follow the law. They were told they must stick by this. They do not have any other masters. They are independent. Stick to the law. Stop arresting people arbitrarily,” added Mr Ombeta.